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Can a knee heal itself?


Registered Member
First things first:
I don't like doctors of any kind, and I am extremely uninterested in going to see one.

It's all snow and ice here. Anyway, I slipped in the damned stuff, my left leg went out in front of me, and I squirmed trying to prevent my fall from being a bad one, in the process my left foot twisted outwards and my knee with it.

I'm not sure what I've done to it, except it's giving me a fair amount of aggro. It's been crap for yonks anyway, since I was tackled on a hard court (aged 11-12) playing football/soccer and basically knee dropped the concrete from about three feet. This slip has just added to its knackeredness.

It is noticeably different to my right knee which is fine. The aggro I get is basically it twinges with 'sharp' pain when I move it in a particular way (e.g. bend down, climb or descend stairs, take enormous strides etc).

I don't reckon I've broken any bones in there, but perhaps I've strained some sort of important muscle in there. It looks slightly swollen around the actual knee cap (almost as if its filled with gel) and the pain usually emanates below it, or to the sides of the entire knee joint.

I was wondering if a knee can heal itself. If I left it, and tried not to over-exert it, would my immune system sort the jip out? I know it's probably a stupid question, but I just wondered and I'm not a doctor. And I don't wish to visit a doctor about this, mostly because I dislike them, but also because it'll probably be a waste of time. I can still get about fine (to work and that) so I just wondered if anyone knows anything about knees, and maybe some sort of ritual I can do to help it feel better...

Cheers for help if anyone knows anything about this.


Embrace the Suck
I injured my left knee playing high school football and didn't do anything for it as far as going to a doctor. The trainer in school would ice it down from time to time. It was noticeably different from my right knee and when I would have people touch it right below the knee cap they would freak out on how weird it felt.

I lived with it like that for a few years. From time to time it would bother me but I would just rest it when that happened. I played city league basketball and softball for some time and would wear a knee brace when I did.

One morning I woke up in excruciating pain and went to see an orthopedic surgeon. After undergoing an MRI he did arthroscopic surgery on my meniscus and ACL. I underwent physical therapy for about a month or so after that.

I would be leery of hoping it just heals itself. I would suggest going to a doctor and having it looked at. I should have taken care of it when I first injured it but I was afraid of having to undergo surgery and losing playing time.


Registered Member
Go to see doctor, they will examine, X-ray and know better what is best for you to do.


still nobody's bitch
The knee is probably the most complex joint in the body. There is a lot going on in there, as you can see from this pic, so it's impossible to say whether yours can heal itself.

You really should have an x-ray done to see what kind of damage you've done. If you're completely opposed to doing that, then just keep icing it to keep the swelling down and take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen. 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off with the ice.

I wouldn't let it go, though; I mean after all that's what doctors do. They fix things in the body and if it's bothering you, why would you let it go? Good luck.


Embrace the Suck
and if it's bothering you, why would you let it go?
Because some of us are stubborn and hate going to the doctor and learn to live with the pain and adjust accordingly.:D


still nobody's bitch
Because some of us are men and hate going to the doctor and learn to live with the pain and adjust accordingly.:D


That's just silly.

Anyway, to the OP, resting it and icing it is probably not going to do any damage, so you're probably ok taking a wait and see approach. You just never know with the knee.


Better Call Saul
Staff member
One of my close friends tore his ACL playing basketball...that was 2 years ago and he never had the surgery to repair it because he didn't have the money.

Its not completely healed but he said he doesn't have pain anymore. He said he can tell something is "loose" in his knee but he's pretty much pain free.

I wouldn't suggest going that route, however, haha


Registered Member
Parts of the knee do heal itself if you don't use it, which obviously that's impossible if you're going to be walking or playing any kinds of sports. Both of my knees are shot and I find it hard to sleep at night because of the pain in both of them, but I'm not going to risk getting surgery and then have them tell me I won't be able to try and get back into sports. I have a torn MCL, LCL and PCL in one knee and the meniscus and LCL in the other knee.

They don't heal themselves fast or efficiently, trust me.

It's been 4 years since I've injured them and the pain only gets worse if you don't go to the doctor and get them fixed.


A Darker Knight
It'd hard for knees to completely heal themselves cause not much blood gets there. The knee's a pretty tricky joint. I messed up my knees conditioning quite a few years ago, went to a chiropractor to get them fixed, but they're still a bit shaky. I'm still hesitant to really do hard leg workouts.


Registered Member
You've probably sprained your knee, but the fall may have harmed the bone as well. Swelling is appropriate in most joint injuries. It is hard to say anything about healing-time or actual damage with such little information, so I really do suggest you go see a doctor. Your knee might be in need of some supporting bandage, just as well as it might be more severe then you think and has to be fixed to ensure complete rest.